A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Propaganda Words

Dear HonestReporting Member,

This is the traditional week for the “best” and “worst” awards.

HonestReporting.Com has been deluged with members’ recommendations for its first annual “Dishonest Reporting” Award, and we will publish the “winner” within days.

MSNBC.com claimed to have reviewed “more than a million pictures” before its editors chose the “best images of 2001.” In addition to the 9/11 images of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, MSNBC editors chose 20 “poignant images at other events — including photos of natural disasters, cute ducklings, New York firemen — and two Jewish kids in Hebron harassing a Palestinian woman after hearing of the Sbarro Pizzeria bombing earlier in the day.

The photo was accompanied by this MSNBC caption: “Ancient Hatreds: Two Israeli children attack a Palestinian woman in the West Bank town of Hebron on Aug. 9 in the wake of a Palestinian suicide bombing in Jerusalem that killed 16 people. Mideast violence escalated sharply in 2001, with suicide bombings, assassinations and several failed tries at a cease-fire.”

The Jewish kids were brats. And for MSNBC editors, that made the picture the best image of the Middle East for 2001. Incredible. After reviewing a million photos, MSNBC’s editors relegated as secondary the scores of pictures of the bombed-out Israeli restaurants, buses, train stations, shopping malls and markets. MSNBC passed over pictures of Palestinian gunmen swearing vengeance against Israel, of toddlers dressed as suicide bombers, and of Palestinians rejoicing over the WTC bombing.

(Only when clicking on the audio link, do some other Mideast images appear.)

Let us not forget that it was MSNBC who drew protest last year for featuring 12-year-old Muhammad al-Dura among its “top images of the year 2000.”


If MSNBC’s choice shows poor judgment, let’s see who is the photograph behind this Hebron photo. It is the Associated Press reporter and writer, Nasser Shiyoukhi. Shiyoukhi, his cousin Nael, and Reuters’ Mazen Dana, are local Palestinian photographers who have all conducted a lengthy journalistic campaign against Israeli soldiers and the Jews of Hebron. Their account can be read on the website of the “Committee to Protect Journalists.”

AP’s Nasser Shiyoukhi’s bias shows on his Internet photo gallery from an Australian exhibit that “depicts the reality of life in Alkhalil (Hebron) and Gaza and the difficulties the Palestinian residents encounter under the present situation in that region.” The photos taken by Shiyoukhi and an Australian photographer show scenes of Palestinian heroics, and tragedy and images of Israeli occupation as seen through their lenses.

Is Shiyoukhi an AP journalist or a Palestinian advocate?

Compare his gallery to the gallery of photographs by Stefan Zaklin on the Washington Post’s Camera-Works site. His 14 photographs portray the dangers facing Hebron’s Jews from Palestinian snipers.

If you believe the MSNBC editors showed bias in the photograph selection, write to them at: YIP_2001@msnbc.com

The most effective method is to write a letter in your own words. Otherwise, use the sample letter below as a basis.

Thank you for your ongoing involvement in the battle against media bias.


========== SAMPLE LETTER OF COMPLAINT ============

To the Editors of MSNBC – YIP_2001@msnbc.com

Your choice of the “best” photos of 2001 did not come close to depicting the poignant events and drama in the Middle East. The image of 2001 should be of the nihilism of Arab suicide bombers, the hate of vengeful Hamas gunmen, or the fanaticism of Palestinian society that raised children to celebrate the September 11 terror.

Did the image of two mischievous Jewish kids (photographed by pro-Palestinian activist Nasser Shiyoukh) really summarize the year’s events for MSNBC?

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